MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Sunday, September 21, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 56.0° F  Overcast
Collapse Photo Bar

Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Tonight

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby swoon_queen » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:11 pm

just responding to Stebben84-

swoon_queen wrote:
Affordable 24-7 rehearsal space for musicians.


Paid for by the city? Shouldn't they then do the same with studio spaces for dance and visual arts?


First, I wasn't insinuating that the city pay for these spaces (though it would be a better budget allocation than a viral video) only suggesting that it's part of building a better infrastructure. As far as studio spaces for dance/visual arts: yes! of course. But first, this discussion is about music, and second,finding rehearsal spaces for those things are not as challenging (landlords hear music rehearsal, and think loud noise)

swoon_queen wrote:
Venues open to all ages and all genres.


Don't we already have that? How can the city make these venues more accessible. Do they force bars to do this?


Not really.There are a few places open to all ages to see live music (the Loft, coffee houses) but the major venues in the city are usually 21+ or 18+, with the occasional exception at Majestic. Try opening a venue with a stage that sells alcohol for its adult patrons, n/a beverages for its 16 year old patrons, and isn't a restaurant- the red tape involved is nearly impossible to circumvent- the city could loosen its policies for this to happen.

swoon_queen wrote:
Available space for performance.


Again, where and how? Do they build them? Force businesses to show what they may not want to?


Take a look at all of those empty buildings on East Wash. Then imagine them all as multi-level arts spaces. Then call the developers/brokers/landlords who own them, and offer them money to put those spaces in place. Wait (and wait, and wait) for them to call back. Speaking from experience, I can tell you it won't happen. Again, noise issues and parking and liability issues are preventing well-intentioned folks from doing great things. City backing and promotion (not city funding) for these folks could jumpstart a creative economy, rather than another condo development/grocery store.

swoon_queen wrote:
Incentives for promoters


First thing we need to do is get rid of the promoter monopoly in this town.


Maybe, but that's a separate issue.

swoon_queen wrote:
Incentives for bands who make Madison their home base


Such as what, subsidies? Give them a tax break? Why them and not a visual artist, or a poet, or a dancer?


I heard some good ideas about this last night, which is what inspired this comment. and again, I am all for incentives for all creative types- this discussion just happens to be about musicians.
Not always "tax breaks" but again city support for busking (making designated areas or encouraging performance in public places rather than further restrictions as has recently been the case), grant programs open to individuals rather than non-profits, promotion of bands who go on national tours, etc.
swoon_queen
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:23 pm
Location: east side

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby dave esmond » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:25 pm

rick wrote:Not sure how many blocks they are but Beale St and yes, 6th St in Austin are probably good examples.


If we're looking for a State St with less drunks and shenanigans Beale St wouldn't be the first place I looked for ideas.

What is a music culture?


In a place like Memphis it's a history of people making great sometimes groundbreaking music. We've got the Fendermen and Garbage. As much as I like both of them it's not quite the same as Elvis, BB King, WDIA, Sun/Stax/Ardent studios and everything else that makes Memphis what it is. People go to Beale Street to get hammered and walk a streets with very real history.

But again I wouldn't be looking to Beale St as any example for what to do in Madison.

We've got one thing Austin doesn't. Winter.

I'd like to see us work on making Madison the best Madison it can be, not the second or third best Austin.
dave esmond
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 4:15 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby Stebben84 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:30 pm

swoon_queen wrote:I heard some good ideas about this last night, which is what inspired this comment. and again, I am all for incentives for all creative types- this discussion just happens to be about musicians.
Not always "tax breaks" but again city support for busking (making designated areas or encouraging performance in public places rather than further restrictions as has recently been the case), grant programs open to individuals rather than non-profits, promotion of bands who go on national tours, etc.


I fully agree with this and pretty much everything else you said. My only issue is putting the cart before the horse. All of the things you mentioned need to be done BEFORE we start thinking about a SXSW type festival. They already tried something similar with the Forward music fest and that was kind of a flop. We need to really build the scene before we build the festival.

I'm not saying I wouldn't want a festival. I just don't think it has the traction yet.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4843
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby rrnate » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:38 pm

The city making it easy for venues to be both bars and all-ages clubs is far and away THE biggest thing they could do to help foster a scene here. How many of us rocker types have played 18+ shows in town (21+ can drink)? They're awesome. All-ages shows are even better.

If spots like the High Noon and Frequency that are primarily geared towards live music could do this, that'd be huge for them and us.

Totally agree that the whole "let's look at Austin/Memphis" thing is pretty far off-base. The mayor doing little things like eliminating red tape, offering maybe small grants or something to venues to make improvements (case in point - soundproofing at Whiskey River) would be way more effective than any sort of promotional video or god forbid, another botched music festival.
rrnate
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3661
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 6:33 pm
Location: Madison's Corporate Underbelly

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby dave esmond » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:44 pm

Stebben84 wrote:My only issue is putting the cart before the horse. All of the things you mentioned need to be done BEFORE we start thinking about a SXSW type festival. They already tried something similar with the Forward music fest and that was kind of a flop. We need to really build the scene before we build the festival.


How much does SXSW have to do with the local Austin scene?

Not disagreeing that helping the local scene should come first but I'm also not convinced festivals like SXSW have much to do with local scenes other then using the same venues. To me they're different things.
dave esmond
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 4:15 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby wallrock » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:48 pm

Stebben84 wrote:They already tried something similar with the Forward music fest and that was kind of a flop. We need to really build the scene before we build the festival.

I went to both FMFs and I hit up the Saturday shows for the Lost City Music Fest this past July. I love the idea of these festivals but the thought of having the City involved in organizing or funding one is just ridiculous. I honestly do not think there is any point to the City spending any money whatsoever to "build the scene" because it's just not going to work that way. The best they can hope to do is either help or get out of the way when promoters, owners, musicians, and organizers want to set something up, like the Live on King Street concerts this summer.

When it comes to building the scene there are of course small little things the City can do to help things along, but if it's going to happen it'll only be from the bottom up.
wallrock
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 806
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 11:11 am
Location: Middleton

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby Mandoliniment » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:51 pm

dave esmond wrote:How much does SXSW have to do with the local Austin scene?

Not disagreeing that helping the local scene should come first but I'm also not convinced festivals like SXSW have much to do with local scenes other then using the same venues. To me they're different things.


They are different things, but SXSW grows out of the local scene, not the other way around. So if one thinks a SXSW-style fest would be a good thing here (something I'm not sold on, but whatever), the key is investing in local infrastructure and getting local residents to value their musical resources.

We don't have the venues to support such an endeavor, and we don't have the local audience to support the venues that would support it. Audience development is the key.
Mandoliniment
Senior Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 5:40 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby jjoyce » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:28 pm

Until recently, SXSW was the place bands went to get signed. The reason it worked is because record labels and bands converged and commerce happened. There was a fiscal motivation for bands to load up the car and drive down there well before it turned into the massive scene it is today. It built up enough momentum to turn into a spectator-friendly event after the record industry stopped driving it, but it's a very different fest now.

Austin is the way it is not because of a $50,000 grant here or there. That city decided long ago that it wanted to be the live music capital of the world and strategically set about to do that. Tax breaks to bars presenting music. Easing restrictions. Zoning. I believe the city has also reached out to musicians directly.

Why should those be our priorities when simply supporting the small-ish scene we have would be a huge improvement? Like, don't force the Majestic to pay back taxes on the area occupied by its marquee. Don't seek back sales tax from nightclubs on their cover charges. Ease licensing fees for clubs that pay LOCAL musicians a certain number of nights per week. Throw a bone to promoters who program (AND PAY) local musicians on touring bills.

But this idea that we could or should be more like Austin is the worst kind of scene envy. Madison is great for its own reasons. We're becoming an epicenter for beer, despite the recent announcement that a big new craft brewery is opening in Verona (I'd like to hear an explanation for that one). The restaurant scene continues to expand and surprise. There's some promising local theater. Believe it or not, the Comedy Club on State has a fabulous national reputation right now. There are two successful local improv comedy troupes.

All of these enterprises, many of them built without a cent of public money, deserve to be viewed in the same spirit that we look at the big glass cube on Fairchild; as assets to the community and economic drivers. Look at what's working and foster it, make sure that we'll never lose it and remove obstacles standing in the way of growth.

Also, Portland's music scene is crap. Nashville is the center of the country music world mostly because all the session players and guys with money live there.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby dave esmond » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:35 pm

Mandoliniment wrote:They are different things, but SXSW grows out of the local scene, not the other way around.


I don't see it so much as one growing out of the other but more that they're not really connected. Aren't most of the bands and audience for SXSW from outside Austin?


We don't have the venues to support such an endeavor, and we don't have the local audience to support the venues that would support it. Audience development is the key.


I'd agree. But even before that we'd need to attract a bunch of world class musicians to make Madison home. That's a big part of what makes the local scene in Austin so strong and special.

Here's a typical Saturday night at the Continental in Austin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY8AFtlA ... re=related

Locals Redd Volkaert and Cindy Cashdollar.

Plenty of folks might even make a trip to Austin to see that. Who does Madison have that would make someone from Austin visit to see?

Madison has a ton of great musicians. But I can see why having locals like Austin does makes a big difference in the size of the overall audience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_A ... sical_acts

We can be the best Madison. And maybe given global warming Madison will become a more attractive place for musicians to live in the future. Right now it's hard to compete with places that don't have Wisconsin winter and do have a bunch of people who work at a national or international level in your chosen field.
dave esmond
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 4:15 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby Michael Patrick » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:41 pm

I'd like to hear the local commercial radio stations play more local music, and not just on late night local music shows when no one is listening.

I know Triple M does contests and stuff featuring local bands, which is cool, but would it kill them to play a couple of songs from local artists during daylight hours?
Michael Patrick
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3951
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:56 am
Location: Around here somewhere

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby dave esmond » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:52 pm

jjoyce wrote:Austin is the way it is not because of a $50,000 grant here or there. That city decided long ago that it wanted to be the live music capital of the world....


Willie Nelson moving to Austin in the early '70s helped put them on the map long before tax breaks and grants. Those things all help but Austin started a bit further down the road then most cities.

Nashville is the center of the country music world mostly because all the session players and guys with money live there.


Kinda what I said before. You can't build that kind of scene with tax breaks and grants.

But really I agree with much of what you said.
dave esmond
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 4:15 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby swoon_queen » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:08 pm

I hope I didn't sound like I believed "Madison's cooler than Grand Rapids" or "Madison is the new Austin" or anything of that nature should be the goal....(that line of thinking is silly) but the fact that talented people move away from here because they don't have the necessary resources to be successful from the home base of Madison should be addressed before venues whose main source of revenue is national talent get breaks. Also, I like the idea of promoters getting something back from putting paid locals on a national bill- but often contracts prevent that. Which goes to something Scott keenly observed in his article today regarding last night's meeting-- if the promoters, club owners, and musicians were more aligned and united on a regular basis, we'd have a real shot at creating an identity around the music scene here. Just one example: if EVERY promoter agreed to stipulate that having local opener on a national bill was a non-negotiable line item on a contract, agents couldn't push back. (this was something that we did with Forward, and it worked- every national act was preceded by a local opener)

jjoyce wrote:Also, Portland's music scene is crap. Nashville is the center of the country music world mostly because all the session players and guys with money live there.


Assuming this refers to my original post, I was namechecking Portland, Austin, Nashville, and Brooklyn simply because musicians I know personally had pulled up stakes from here and moved to those places. In most cases, it seemed to have something to do with the fact that each city had a lot in common with Madison- and the added bonus of a thriving music community (which in practice is different from a music scene, but contributes to the strength of one)
swoon_queen
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:23 pm
Location: east side

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby dave esmond » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:17 pm

I think swoon has some good ideas for building a music community. Thanks.
dave esmond
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 4:15 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby Mandoliniment » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:33 pm

dave esmond wrote:I don't see it so much as one growing out of the other but more that they're not really connected. Aren't most of the bands and audience for SXSW from outside Austin?


Sure they are - but why did it take hold there, and not in, say, Tulsa? Because there was an active scene of musicians and audience members who were ready to take on and embrace such an effort. It was originally envisioned as a local/regional festival.


dave esmond wrote:I'd agree. But even before that we'd need to attract a bunch of world class musicians to make Madison home. That's a big part of what makes the local scene in Austin so strong and special.

Here's a typical Saturday night at the Continental in Austin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY8AFtlA ... re=related

Locals Redd Volkaert and Cindy Cashdollar.

Plenty of folks might even make a trip to Austin to see that. Who does Madison have that would make someone from Austin visit to see?

Madison has a ton of great musicians. But I can see why having locals like Austin does makes a big difference in the size of the overall audience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_A ... sical_acts

We can be the best Madison. And maybe given global warming Madison will become a more attractive place for musicians to live in the future. Right now it's hard to compete with places that don't have Wisconsin winter and do have a bunch of people who work at a national or international level in your chosen field.


Of course we're not going to turn into Austin North in a couple of years, nor, frankly, should we try to. But attracting out-of-towners isn't what drives a music scene - what drives it is the locals who either participate or go watch; that attracts musicians, which attracts more musicians, etc. If you come at it with the goal of "we're going to make it so people want to visit here" you'll miss, just like setting out to make a viral video will nearly always fail.
Instead, invest in the local scene, such as it is, identify and eliminate barriers to its growth, and trust that if the talent is there the rest will follow organically.
Mandoliniment
Senior Member
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 5:40 pm

Re: Town Hall on Madison Music Budget Recommendations is Ton

Postby dave esmond » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:54 pm

Mandoliniment wrote:Instead, invest in the local scene, such as it is, identify and eliminate barriers to its growth, and trust that if the talent is there the rest will follow organically.


We've already got quite a few really good musicians and venues. And the audience that's taken to it organically is what it is.

I like swoon's idea of local openers to get people in front of the larger audiences that come out for national acts. But I'm not sure I see any major issues the city needs to address that are stopping the scene from being bigger then it is.

Most, if not all cities that are seen as being music towns got there on the back of local acts that made it big nationally. Outlaw country in Austin in the 70s, Athens in the '80's, Seattle, etc. I don't see what the city can do to make that happen.

I agree with a lot of what you're saying tho'. I'm all for the city at least looking at the issues seriously. I just think there's a lot of factors that the city can't control.
dave esmond
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2001 4:15 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Madison Music

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar